A new method of design decomposition for structural analysis and optimization is described. For this method, the structure is divided into substructures where each substructure has its structural response described by a structural-response subproblem, and its structural sizing determined from a structural-sizing subproblem. The structural responses of substructures that have rigid body modes when separated from the remainder of the structure are further decomposed into displacements that have no rigid body components, and a set of rigid body modes. The structural-response subproblems are linked together through forces determined within a structural-sizing coordination subproblem which also determines the magnitude of any rigid body displacements. Structural-sizing subproblems having constraints local to the substructures are linked together through penalty terms that are determined by a structural-sizing coordination subproblem. All the substructure structural-response subproblems are totally decoupled from each other, as are all the substructure structural-sizing subproblems, thus there is significant potential for use of parallel solution methods for these subproblems.